The modern Venetian Carnival runs up until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (known as "Mardi Gras"), starting two Saturdays before the Tuesday. Venice carnival dates therefore vary in step with Easter as follows:
Carnival 2011: February 26 - March 8
Carnival 2012: February 11 - February 21
Carnival 2013: February 2 - February 12
Carnival 2014: February 22 - March 4
Carnival 2015: February 7 - February 17

Carnevale di Venezia events
The official Carnival site is part of the Municipality of Venice website - click on "English", then "Program". Many event organisers also gradually add their events throughout the year to the private Carnival of Venice website, so it's worth checking both.

Venice Carnival in history
The word carnival comes from the Latin for "Farewell, meat!". As Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday) obliged people to fast, during the period up to Ash Wednesday all meat, butter and eggs had to be used up. This religious formality became the excuse for a party that echoed pagan festivities. In late Rome Saturnalia and Lupercalia were moments when licentiousness and wantonry were celebrated - a deliberate upturning of the usual social order. Christianity licensed a comparable period of celebration from Twelfth Night until the midnight of Shrove Tuesday. Popes Clement IX and XI and Benedict XIII were among those who tried hardest to bring Carnival back within proper religious limits, but they didn't have much influence over Venice.

The history of the Venice Carnival tradition began after 1162. The Republic defeated Ulrico, Patriarch of Aquileia in that year, and began a tradition of slaughtering a bull and 12 pigs in the Piazza San Marco around Shrove Tuesday to commemorate the victory. This celebration gradually grew and 1268 dates the first document mentioning the use of masks.

History of Venice Carnival – the 18th Century
The eighteenth century was the heyday of Carnival. Venice's decline in power was accompanied by a conspicuous consumption of pleasure. Rich young nobles doing the European "Grand Tour" made sure these pleasures were theirs as well. The paintings of Francesco Guardi and the diaries of Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) are the best-known symbols of the age - the languid spirit of carnival an ever-present implication.

History of Venice Carnival – Retirement and revival
Carnival's significance declined gradually through to the 1930s, when Mussolini banned it. In 1979, a group of Venetians and lovers of Venice decided to revive the tradition. Within a few years, the image of the masked reveller had become a worldwide icon of Venice in winter.

Venice Carnival masks
Masks made the Venetian Carnival unique. If you cannot identify the wearer of the mask, you do not know his social status. In this way, Venice temporarily overturned her social order. Some of the masks depicted Commedia dell'Arte characters. Others were more sinister. The white-beaked mask so famous from photographs is that of the plague-doctor; the beak echoes a doctor's long breathing apparatus that held a sponge doused in vinegar, thought to hold the plague at bay. The Doges were frequently exercised by the dangers masks allowed, and passed laws limiting their use to within the carnival period; if you wore a mask at any other time of year, penalties were severe.

Masks are a big cottage industry in today's Venice, and sold all year round. If you are looking for a mask for carnival, one of the better mask shops is Carta Alta - their website not only gives you a catalogue of masks for sale, but flash movies showing how the masks are made.
If you're looking for comfortable self-catering accommodation during carnival, we can offer a choice of two very well-equipped holiday apartments to rent, both with good heating, during January, February and March.
Venice Carnival today
There can be few better chroniclers of today's Venice carnival than our friend Bob Callender. Here is his jocular round-up of a week's sightseeing.

Dear Al and Jon

Thanks for a further splendid holiday in your pet city - saw lots of the second-division sites and brought back some splendid meaty sausages. Everything went swimmingly and as far as I could tell the only damage we caused to your house was leaving a small bottle of shower gel in the bathroom.

Carneval certainly makes a difference to La Serenissima, but falls short of turning her into a debauched pit of Byronic licentiousness (sadly). St Marks Square comes off quite badly, because there's a huge messy stage at one end, a huge screen showing Benetton and Coke ads up against the Campanile and a huge tent selling Bellinis (Cocktail Ufficiale di Carneval).

There's lots of masked revellers, but they're heavily outnumbered by ordinary gawping tourists (like me and my mum). However, there's several distinct types of masked revellers.

1) Groups of (mostly pseudo-mediaeval) costumed revellers on their way from their hotels to swanky masked parties in corporate HQs on the Grand Canal. These seemed mostly middle-aged and harmless.

2) Out-and-out lunatics who have dressed up in vast swags of lurid fabrics and gone down to St Marks to pose. They seem to just stand around all day being photographed in couples or alone, or they get up on the balustrade of the Campanile and hold scary gothic poses for huge groups of tourists.

3) American ladies wearing the most elaborate masks they could find in the shops with their jumpers and jeans.

4) Gangs of youngsters in black capes and masks rolling around passing wine bottles and acting silly.

5) Japanese girls and boys who think they pass for European by putting on a mask and cozzie, but give themselves away by giving little bows every time someone takes their photo.

6) Almost anyone else who's had a multi-coloured doodle make-upped around one eye by any of the several hundred grungy street-hippies who set up all over town with little canvas chairs and colourboxes and stand there shouting "Make-up, Maquillage!"

7) One man who missed the point completely and turned up as Clint Eastwood in Fistful of Dollars, and another who'd just put on a set of comedy breasts.

Everyone's very patient about having their photos taken - seems to be an unwritten rule that no photo-ops will be denied. Overall, the costumed posers No. 2) were quite scary - you can't see their eyes and if you're like me you worry about their motivation.

Also, there's signs on a lot of the church doors saying "No masks inside."

See our History of Venice page for more about this fascinating city, or our Venice tourist information section for more about visiting Venice.
During the carnaval time, venice is one of the busy town of the world, if you looking place where to stay you can check here for cheap hostel in Mestre. Mestre is 20min from Venice by bus or train and the hotels are more cheaper then Venice.

Spread The Love, Share Our Article

Related Posts

No Response to "VENICE CARNIVAL 2011"

Публикуване на коментар